1.1 What is WAP?
• WAP stands for Wireless Application Protocol
• WAP is an application communication protocol
• WAP is used to access services and information
• WAP is inherited from Internet standards
• WAP is for handheld devices such as mobile phones
• WAP is a protocol designed for micro browsers
• WAP enables the creating of web applications for mobile
• WAP uses the mark-up language WML (not HTML)
• WML is defined as an XML 1.0 application
1.2. The Wireless Application Protocol
• The WAP is the leading standard for information
services on wireless terminals like digital mobile
• The WAP standard is based on Internet standards
(HTML, XML and TCP/IP).
1.3. History of WAP
• WAP is published by the WAP Forum, founded in 1997
by Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, and Unwired Planet.
• Forum members now represent over 90% of the global
handset market, as well as leading infrastructure
providers, software developers and other
2. WAP Model
2.1 Internet Model
• The Internet model makes it possible for a
client to reach services on a large number of
• Each services is addressed by a unique
Uniform Resource Locator (URL).
• The content stored on the servers is of various
formats, but HTML is the predominant. HTML
provides the content developer with a means to
describe the appearance of a service in a flat
document structure. If more advanced features like
procedural logic are needed, then scripting languages
• The figure above shows how a WWW client request a resource
stored on a web server. On the Internet, standard communication
protocols, like HTTP and Transmission Control Protocol/Internet
Protocol (TCP/IP) are used.
• The content available at the web server may be static or dynamic.
Static content is produced once and not changed or updated very
often, for example a company presentation.
• Dynamic content is needed when the information
provided by the service changes more often, for
example timetables, news, stock quotes and account
information. Technologies such as Active Server Pages
(ASP), Common Gateway Interface (CGI), and Servlets
allow content to be generated dynamically.
2.2 WAP Model
programming model. Note the similarities
with the Internet model. Without the WAP
Gateway/Proxy the two models would have
been practically identical.
WAP I model: Translator WAP WEB
• WAP Gateway/Proxy is the entity that connects
the wireless domain with the Internet. We
should make a note that the request that is sent
Gateway/Proxy uses the Wireless Session
Protocol (WSP). In its essence, WSP is a binary
version of HTTP.
• A markup language - the Wireless Markup
Language (WML) has been adapted to develop
optimized WAP applications. In order to save
valuable bandwidth in the wireless network,
WML can be encoded into a compact binary
format. Encoding WML is one of the tasks
performed by the WAP Gateway/Proxy.
2.3 How WAP Model Works?
When it comes to actual use, WAP works like this:
• The user selects an option on their mobile
device that has a URL with Wireless Markup
language (WML) content assigned to it.
• The phone sends the URL request via the phone
network to a WAP gateway, using the binary
encoded WAP protocol.
• The gateway translates this WAP request into a conventional
HTTP request for the specified URL, and sends it on to the
• The appropriate Web server picks up the HTTP request.
• The server processes the request, just as it would any other
request. If the URL refers to a static WML file, the server delivers
it. If a CGI script is requested, it is processed and the content
returned as usual.
• The Web server adds the HTTP header to the WML content and
returns it to the gateway.
• The WAP gateway compiles the WML into binary form.
• The gateway then sends the WML response back to the phone.
• The phone receives the WML via the WAP protocol.
• The micro-browser processes the WML and displays the content
on the screen.
• WAP is designed in a layered fashion so that it can be extensible,
flexible, and scalable. As a result, the WAP protocol stack is divided
into five layers.
• Wireless Application Environment (WAE). This layer is of most
interest to content developers because it contains, among other
things, device specifications and the content development
programming languages, WML and WMLScript.
• Wireless Session Protocol (WSP). Unlike HTTP, WSP
has been designed by the WAP Forum to provide fast
connection suspension and reconnection.
• WSP-The WAP session protocol (WSP) layer provides a
lightweight session layer to allow efficient exchange
of data between applications.
• Wireless Transaction Protocol (WTP). The WTP runs on top of a
datagram service such as User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and is
part of the standard suite of TCP/IP protocols used to provide a
simplified protocol suitable for low bandwidth wireless stations.
• WTP -- The WAP transaction protocol (WTP) layer provides
transaction support, adding reliability to the datagram service
provided by WDP.
• WDP -- The WAP datagram protocol (WDP) is
the transport layer that sends and receives
messages via any available bearer network,
including SMS, USSD, CSD, CDPD and GPRS.
Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS). WTLS incorporates security
features that are based upon the established Transport Layer Security
(TLS) protocol standard. It includes data integrity checks, privacy, service
denial, and authentication services.
WTLS -- Wireless transport layer security (WTLS), an optional security
layer, has encryption facilities that provide the secure transport service
required by many applications, such as e-commerce.
Wireless Datagram Protocol (WDP). The WDP
allows WAP to be bearer-independent by adapting
the transport layer of the underlying bearer. The WDP
presents a consistent data format to the higher layers
of the WAP protocol stack, thereby offering the
advantage of bearer independence to application
• Each of these layers provides a well-defined interface to
the layer. This means that the internal workings of any
layer are transparent or invisible to the layers. The layered
architecture allows other applications and services to
utilize the features provided by the WAP-stack as well. This
makes it possible to use the WAP-stack for services and
applications that currently are not specified by WAP.
The WAP protocol architecture is shown below alongside a typical Internet Protocol
What operating systems are compatible
• WAP is a communications protocol and an
application environment. It can be built on
any operating system including PalmOS,
EPOC, Windows CE, FLEXOS, OS/9, JavaOS,
etc. It provides service interoperability even
between different device families.
Will WAP comply with Third Generation
• Yes, WAP has been designed to be as
independent as possible from the underlying
How does Bluetooth relate to WAP?
• Bluetooth is a local area low power radio link between devices.
Many of the usage scenarios for Bluetooth will also involve one of
the devices communicating over the air using WAP.
While many Bluetooth members are also WAP members, and it is
expected that many future handheld wireless devices will deploy
both Bluetooth and WAP technology, the two technologies
fundamentally address different problems.
Examples of WAP use
Checking train table information
Flight check in
Viewing traffic information
Checking weather conditions
Looking up stock values
Looking up phone numbers
Looking up addresses
Looking up sport results